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Sebastian Barry and Emma Donoghue shortlisted for Dublin Literary Award 2024

The Dublin Literary Award, sponsored and supported by Dublin City Council, has always prided itself on the eclectic range of its interests – books are nominated for the prize by libraries all around the world – but this year’s must be one of the most unusual shortlists in my years of covering the prize. There’s a sense of a split personality in the list, which can be divided into three broad categories. There are two highly-achieved literary books that have already been recognised by last year’s Booker Prize, from writers at opposite ends of their careers: debutant Jonathan Escoffery’s If I Survive You and national treasure Sebastian Barry’s Old God’s Time. Then there are two more low-key and accessible works of literary fiction, in Emma Donoghue’s novel Haven and Suzette Mayr’s The Sleeping Car Porter, both of which are quieter in their approach but nonetheless enjoyable. Finally, there are two baggy monsters: including the only translated novel on the list, from Romanian literary superstar Mircea Cǎrtǎrescu. His mammoth novel Solenoid matches Aboriginal writer Alexis Wright’s even bigger Praiseworthy as the most ambitious, eccentric and likely divisive novel on the shortlist. The good news is that there is probably something here for everyone. But the judges have a very difficult decision to make. Solenoid by Mircea Cǎrtǎrescu, translated by Sean Cotter (Deep Vellum, 672pp) This unsummarisable monster of a book starts with the narrator’s body – he’s drowning his hair lice in the bath – and eventually expands to cover not just the known universe but other dimensions too. The narrator is a teacher and failed writer in Bucharest, whose approach to literature is somewhere between Karl Ove Knausgaard’s everything-including-the-kitchen-sink detail and Gerald Murnane’s obsessive self-examination. “I want to write a report of my anomalies,” he says. Well, it will take a while. As a guide to “the infinitely glorious and infinitely demented citadel of my mind”, it’s the sort of book that contains everything, which is just as well since it’s also the sort of book that you can only read with pleasure if you forget about all those other novels you might sometime want to get around to. You need to commit. One of the most compelling sections is a long account of the narrator’s time in a sanatorium as a child. (Thomas Mann is one of his literary touchstones.) Elsewhere we get the discovery of magnetic coils – or solenoids – all through the city, including under the narrator’s home, which link to his quest for other dimensions. Less engaging are the frequent interjections of his dreams and hallucinations: I began to dread the approach of their telltale italics. Throw in obscure novels, dream-readers, hypercubes and lots more, and you can believe Cǎrtǎrescu’s claim that he wrote Solenoid in one long unedited process. There’s a certain charm to the telling, but the book treads a fine balance between aweing the reader and overwhelming them. Anyone with an appetite for Nobel Prize-winning fare – a world internal, hypnotic and , very European, where plot is a bourgeois extravagance – will love it. Others should approach with caution. Praiseworthy by Alexis Wright (And Other Stories, 700pp) Making Solenoid look skimpy and straightforward is the enormous Praiseworthy by Aboriginal Australian author Alexis Wright, best known here for her award-winning 2007 novel Carpentaria. It feels like a warmer, more organic book than Cǎrtǎrescu’s somewhat cerebral narrative: Wright adopts an omniscient voice that blends the mythical with the earthy to tell the story of the Aboriginal community of Praiseworthy in remote northern Australia. The book is focused on the division between the local community and the white government’s ignorance: “Once upon a fine time for some people in the world …” goes the opening, looking down on the land from a sky where Qantas flights coexist with “ancestral serpents”. A haze has descended on the town, linked to climate change caused by “others who did not give a rat’s arse about saving a dying world”. The battle is on. Central to it are the Steel family, whose “fascist” younger son Tommyhawk is persuaded by media reports of rampant paedophilia in Aboriginal communities and accuses his older brother, Aboriginal Sovereignty, of raping a young girl: “Ab. Sov” then, somewhat symbolically given his name, goes missing, presumed drowned by suicide. The narrative, loaded with charm and chutzpah, circles the same events and themes repeatedly, which is both engaging and frustrating. It seems to constitute a rejection of western linear storytelling, but its length and roundabout way of going about its business means it’s likely to be rejected by some readers. The Sleeping Car Porter by Suzette Mayr (Dialogue Books, 224pp) Canadian writer Suzette Mayr was a new name to me, but her three decades of experience as a novelist show in her sixth novel The Sleeping Car Porter, which won Canada’s prestigious Giller Prize in 2022. It’s a smooth ride set on a train crossing Canada in 1929, from Montreal to Vancouver on an 88-hour journey. All human life is aboard, and our guide is Baxter, a black porter who is saving his tips and earnings to enrol in dental school (an odd detail which never quite convinces). Of course, train compartments encourage secrets, and part of the fun of the book is working out what the various passengers, from sappy newly-weds to garrulous spiritualists – with Baxter-appointed nicknames including Mango, Blancmange and Liquor Head – are hiding. But Baxter is hiding something too: he is gay, though with limited experience (“four times. Always in the dark”), and fears someone discovering the pornographic postcard he’s carrying as much as he fears passenger complaints accumulating enough demerits to justify his sacking. Just when it all seems to be running pleasantly on, a mudslide strands the train for days, providing necessary tension to the story. Passengers jump down and run along the tracks (“against the rules!”) and the stasis of the train provides an analogy for Baxter’s hesitant life. There are lots of miniature dramas in the book rather than one explosive conclusion, but its humane and readable approach means this could be a popular winner. Haven by Emma Donoghue (Picador, 272pp) The popular and productive (she has published four novels in the last five years) Emma Donoghue needs no introduction, and her 2022 novel Haven is a solid work of traditional literary fiction. It imagines the first steps toward the establishment of the monastery on the island that we now call Skellig Michael off the coast of Kerry, in the 7th century AD. Three monks set sail, led by Brother Artt – zealot, receiver of visions and self-appointed prior of the new settlement – and supported by the reliable Cormac (a plague survivor, therefore deemed chosen by God) and young Trian, who has a secret (and it’s not just that he’s left-handed). The story proceeds slowly, almost in real time – we’re one-third through the book before they make landfall – and we get an intricate account of their struggles to make a new life on the inhospitable rock. Trian and Cormac are set to practical tasks – chipping hollows in rocks to collect rainwater, killing auks for food (“a bit of heart meat will do you good”), while Artt has his mind on higher things, such as the carving and erection of a free-standing cross that nobody else will see. Careful with that chisel, Prior! [ Emma Donoghue: The lockdown lessons I learned from writing Room ] There is plenty of activity, but the pedestrian pace persists, and a bit more conflict would have been welcome as Artt gets more extreme (“cooking is a worldly affectation”) and the other two reluctantly knuckle under. But we do get a final escalation of drama, with an intense and well-rendered ending that makes up for the delay in getting there. This is a readable and enjoyable novel, though it feels less distinctive than the other shortlisted titles. Old God’s Time by Sebastian Barry (Faber, 272pp) Sebastian Barry hardly needs another prize, but what can you do? He will insist on writing very good books. His Booker-longlisted Old God’s Time takes us into the head of retired policeman Tom Kettle, who is learning – as the American writer Cynthia Zarin put it – that “it is one of life’s mysteries that what makes tragedy both bearable and unbearable is the same thing – that life goes on”. [ Sebastian Barry: ‘I have the sort of odd brain that is always creeping up on a new book’ ] Tom has lost everyone dear to him – to suicide, drugs and more – and is on the brink of departing himself, noose around neck, when life calls him back. “Oh, again, again.” He is asked by two former colleagues about an old case he thought he had forgotten about. This sets in train a whole pre-existence involving Ireland’s past, from “political bombs with personal outcomes” to the great shame of institutional child abuse. But the novel itself goes from being largely reflective and internal, to being full of drama in a sweep of events that pulls the reader along much as did Barry’s American novels Days Without End and A Thousand Moons. The results are both as lyrical as we might expect (“the sunlight stuck its million pins in the pollocky sea”) and as hard-hitting as a headline. The book asks us whether it’s harder to live with a death that happens for a terrible reason, or one that happens for no reason at all, and shows how memory can be both a comfort and a torture. I don’t think it’s merely national chauvinism that makes me think this moving and upsetting book would be a worthy winner. If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery (Fourth Estate, 272pp) American writer Jonathan Escoffery drew some raised eyebrows last year when this debut was shortlisted for the Booker Prize: it seems quite a stretch to consider it a novel rather than a collection of linked stories. But irrespective of what it is, the quality is high. The stories are set largely in Miami, where Escoffery grew up, circling the extended family of brothers Trelawney and Delano. In the excellent opening story, In Flux, the well-covered topic of identity is given freshness and wit through Trelawney’s confusion around the racial categories people want to put him into. “What am I?” he asks his mother. In another story, Odd Jobs, when he answers a classified ad from a woman who wants someone to give her a black eye ostensibly for a photo project – “just a solid sock to the face. Sorry, no black guys” – it becomes a reflection on fathers and families. [ If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery: Unpicking the American dream ] Fathers feature a lot. In Splashdown, Trelawney’s cousin Cukie tries to belatedly learn from his mostly absent dad as he becomes a father himself. “What kind of man is he?” The subject matter and form of If I Survive You – linked stories about an immigrant community in the US – puts it alongside great debuts like Junot Diaz’s Drown and Bryan Washington’s Lot. But the tone is more polished and writing-workshop-literary than those, occasionally sounding more like a writer than a character. “He lowered himself to his knees and peeled the bin’s lid off tenderly, as though expecting to locate the tattered map to his father’s soul.” But overall this is a debut that’s more than promising – it’s effective, impressive and pleasurable to read. The winner of the €100,000 prize will be announced by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Daithí de Róiste, on May 23rd, as part of the International Literature Festival Dublin, which is also funded by Dublin City Council

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Warning issued to UK households who’ve got gravy in the house over Easter

The classic roast dinner is a staple at the Easter dinner table, but Danielle Robinson, plumbing category manager at Toolstation , has warned Brits against pouring leftover gravy down the drain over the Easter weekend, which arrives in just 72 hours. She warned UK households in an alert ahead of Easter Sunday and beyond: “Tipping gravy down the sink can cause serious harm to your household pipes since once it cools the fats and oils solidify and create blockages – which can be costly to fix.” Instead, she recommends homeowners wipe down cutlery and crockery and then dispose of the food debris in the household waste bin to avoid any potential plumbing issues. Danielle explained the worst food items that can cause a blocked drain: Fats and cooking oils are a very common cause of blockages in kitchen drains as once they are poured away, they solidify and cling to the side of the pipes. It is best to decant these into a container and leave it to set before throwing away. Coffee grounds do not fully break down in water and so can remain in the pipes and help cause a blockage over time. To avoid this, they should be disposed of in the household bin or used outdoors for compost. And even a small amount of leftover rice or pasta can cause a blockage since they will clump together when wet and stick to the walls of the pipe. To help avoid this, make sure to completely scrape all plates and cutlery before cleaning. Custard and cream are another problem. Due to their high-fat content, over time the fats can build up and stick to the sides of pipes causing them to narrow and easily block. It’s best to dispose of these either in a home food waste bin or a general waste bin.

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Bird flu, weather and inflation conspire to keep egg prices near historic highs for Easter

Egg prices are at near-historic highs in many parts of the world as the spring holidays approach, reflecting a market scrambled by disease, high demand and growing costs for farmers. It’s the second year in a row consumers have faced sticker shock ahead of Easter and Passover, both occasions in which eggs play prominent roles. While global prices are lower than they were at this time last year, they remain elevated, said Nan-Dirk Mulder, a senior global specialist with Dutch financial firm RaboBank’s RaboResearch Food and Agribusiness division. Mulder doesn’t expect them to return to 2021 levels. In the United States, the average price of a dozen eggs was $2.99 in February, down from $4.21 last year, according to government data. Still, that’s significantly more than the $1.59 cents per dozen consumers were paying in February 2021. In Europe, egg prices are 10% to 15% lower than last year but still about double what they were in 2021, Mulder said. One major culprit is avian flu. Outbreaks of the deadly respiratory disease were reported in Europe, Africa and Asia in 2020 and spread to North America in 2021. In 2022 alone, more than 131 million poultry worldwide died or were culled on affected farms, according to the World Health Organization. Outbreaks are continuing. In December, the U.S. confirmed cases in 45 commercial flocks and 33 backyard flocks, affecting 11.4 million birds, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In South Africa, egg prices soared after 40% of laying hens were killed late last year due to the respiratory disease, Mulder said. A tray of six eggs cost 25.48 South African rand ($1.34) last month, up 21% from February 2023. Even when avian flu dissipates, it can take a long time for the egg market to settle. It takes a farm three to six months to replenish a flock, so during that time, egg supplies are lower and prices rise, said Emily Metz, president of the American Egg Board, a marketing organization. If farms restock with too many chickens, it can drive prices down. That’s what happened in the U.S. last summer when egg prices plunged to $2 per dozen. “It’s supply and demand searching out. You have to have a profitable price,” David Anderson, a professor and extension economist for livestock and food marketing at Texas A&M University, said. And profits can be hard for farmers to come by during periods of inflation. Chicken feed represents up to 70% of a farmer’s costs, and feed prices doubled between 2020 and 2022, Mulder said. Weather, COVID-related disruptions and the war in Ukraine – which drove up the price of wheat and other crops — were all contributors. In Nigeria, the cost of a crate of eggs has doubled since the beginning of the year due to weakened currency, the removal of fuel subsidies and high costs for farmers. Teslimat Abimbola, who runs a poultry farm in the southern city of Ibadan, said 25 kilograms of feed that cost 2,500 Nigerian naira ($1.78) in 2020 now costs 13,000 naira ($9.23). Abimbola has lost some customers as a result of price increases. “Many farms have been forced to shut down due to the high costs of rearing chickens,” Abimbola said. The government of Lagos State, Nigeria’s biggest economic center, has implemented a subsidy program to help consumers deal with the increased costs of eggs. Elsewhere, government regulations play a part in lifting egg prices. Multiple states, including California and Massachusetts, have passed cage bans for egg-laying hens since 2018; this year, bans are set to take effect in Washington, Oregon and Michigan. Converting to cage-free facilities is a big investment for farmers, and consumers may not always realize that’s a factor in the higher prices they see at the grocery store, Metz said. She anticipates such conversion costs will eventually fall as more farms make the changeover. Price peaks are inevitably followed by price drops, and egg prices will eventually settle into more normal patterns. In the short term, the holiday demand that picks up every Easter will ease heading into summer, Anderson said. Meanwhile, improving biosecurity measures should help blunt the impact of avian flu, he said. Lyncoya Ilion, who teaches cooking classes and runs a catering business called Catered by Coya in Brown Deer, Wisconsin, says she’s noticed egg prices inching back up over the last two to three months but hopes she won’t have to pass her costs onto clients. “I haven’t had to increase prices yet because I’m anticipating that the egg prices will decrease again soon,” Ilion said. That’s a good bet. In the U.S., egg prices are expected to decrease around 2.8% this year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That won’t put them back to pre-COVID levels, but it should give some relief. “People really love eggs, and they notice when that price fluctuates,” Metz said. “Our farmers wish it wasn’t such a sharp up and down as well. It makes everything challenging.” ___ AP Business Reporter Taiwo Adebayo contributed from Lagos, Nigeria.

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M&S shoppers ‘in love’ with ‘expensive-looking’ cropped blazer that’s perfect for summer

If you’re looking for chic pieces to add to your spring wardrobe, M&S is the perfect place to shop – and this expensive-looking short-sleeved blazer is proving to be a huge hit with fashion fans. Despite it being new-in, the £55 linen blend short-sleeve cropped blazer is so popular that it’s already sold out in multiple sizes, however, you can still grab it in a UK 12, 14, 16, 18, 20 and 22. Designed in a regular fit, the blazer boasts contrasting tortoise shell buttons on the front, faux flap pockets and a smooth lining for a comfortable feel. It’s versatile and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Layer it with a white tee underneath, baggy denim jeans and trainers or sandals for the perfect daytime look. For a dressier nighttime look, pair with some smarter black trousers, ballet pumps or kitten heels, and some gold accessories to complete the look. M&S shared the stunning blazer with their 2.1 million followers on Instagram in a post highlighting their ‘top picks for spring.’ The post showcases four springtime looks with items taken from M&S’s latest collection – including the stunning linen blazer, paired with these £45 Lyocell™ Blend Wide Palazzo Leg Jeans. The post amassed over 3,000 likes, and plenty of shoppers shared their opinions in the comment section. One impressed M&S fan said: “This new collection is absolutely stunning – want it all.” A second added: “Omg I love it all. M&S rocking Spring fashion,” while a third commented: “Hopefully cropped linen jacket will come back into stock in my size, love it so much.” The cropped blazer comes in a neutral beige colour which is easy to style and pair with almost anything in your wardrobe. You can pick it up for £55 here, but be quick as it’s selling out fast. If you want a long-sleeved M&S jacket with a similar classic vibe the Tweed Relaxed Collarless Short Jacket is a good alternative although at £75 it is more expensive. If you are after something similar (and cheaper), we’ve spotted this linen-look boxy crop blazer from Boohoo that’s on sale for just £21 down from £28. Available in all sizes from a UK 6 to 16, it boasts a similar cropped boxy fit, contrast tortoise shell buttons and linen look to M&S’s pricier option.

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Chelsea supporters’ letter dismissed by Todd Boehly initiative as Blues fanbase divided

The Chelsea Fan Advisory Board (FAB) – an initiative bought in by Todd Boehly – has criticised a letter released by the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust (CST) last week. Earlier this month the CST took aim at co-owners Boehly and Behdad Eghbali as they warned about the threat of “irreversible toxicity” if things do not change at Stamford Bridge with sections of the crowd chanting against the American and Mauricio Pochettino in a recent away game at Brentford. The CST said the club was “at its lowest since the early 1980s” in the strongly-worded letter and claimed the Blues had become a “laughing stock” as they warned about the possibility of protests. Since then the FAB, which was bought in by Boehly-Clearlake consortium and allows seven supporters to sit in on board meetings, released a statement defending the owners and insisting they do not agree with some of the issues set out by the CST. The statement said: “We don’t recognise the suggestion that fans are not being involved in the future of the club. This goes directly against our experience. So we wanted to set the record straight. Supporters are able to contact the FAB board members directly via the club website and the FAB hold regular in-person drop-in sessions at Stamford Bridge. “At the last main board meeting (on March 11th), Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali directly (and in person) asked the FAB to help shape the club’s proposals in relation to ticketing and we have been working on exactly that.” They also claimed that “the idea that fans are not involved and not at a decision-making level, could not be further from the truth.” FAB also highlighted that more resources had been allocated to fan liaison than at any other point in the club’s history. Chelsea face another season of mid-table mediocrity under their American owners – which is of great contrast to the success they enjoyed for almost two decades under Roman Abramovich. Never during the Russian’s stewardship did the club miss out on the Champions League – which is now a prospect in successive seasons. FAB also added: ” Football is a matter of opinion and expressing emotion is part of that. But we have to get behind our team and make our contribution to victory rather than seek chaos and division through attacks and campaigns. “Every Chelsea fan (including the ownership group) is frustrated at setbacks or results that don’t go our way. But the team and the club more broadly needs its supporters. The only people who benefit from Chelsea fans turning on Chelsea are fans of other clubs. If we’re pulling in the same direction then ‘every little thing’s gonna be alright’.” Join our new WhatsApp community and receive your daily dose of Mirror Football content. We also treat our community members to special offers, promotions, and adverts from us and our partners. If you don’t like our community, you can check out any time you like. If you’re curious, you can read our Privacy Notice.

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Shakira blames ex Gerard Piqué for ‘dragging’ her down as she celebrates being ‘free

Shakira is celebrating being “husbandless” as she promotes her latest album. The Colombian singer, 47, revealed her relationship to ex Gerard Piqué, 37, prevented her from feeling “free” and producing an album. Shakira explained to Jimmy Fallon on NBC’s The Tonight Show why it had been more than seven years since she last released a record – ahead of the release of her long-awaited 12th album Las Mujeres Ya No Lloran. “I was putting out songs here and there but it was really hard for me to put together a body of work,” Shakira said. “It was the husband. Now I’m husband-less. Yeah, the husband was dragging me down. Now I’m free. Now I can actually work.” “Women no longer cry,” Shakira continued: “It’s men’s turn now. For too long we have been sent to cry with a script in our hands and without an end just because we are women. We have to conceal our pain in front of our kids, in front of society. We have to heal in a certain way. And I don’t think anyone is supposed to tell us how to heal. No one is supposed to tell a She-wolf how to lick her wounds.” The Colombian singer, who shares two sons, Milan, 11, and Sasha, nine, with her ex-husband, revealed she “felt raw” while making the 16-track record and was “transforming pain and anger and frustration into creativity and productivity and resilience.” She added: “I was dealing with a lot of stuff. I felt at times with a knife between my teeth. I was picking up the pieces of myself from the floor. I was trying to rebuild myself. Music was the glue.” Shakira and the Spanish football player announced their split after 11 years together in June 2022 after the singer allegedly discovered Gerard had been unfaithful. Although Shakira referred to Gerard as her husband, the couple were never officially married. The footballer player is now dating model Clara Chia Marti, 25, and last August she moved into the home he used to share with Shakira. At the weekend, Shakira admitted she doesn’t know whether she will find love again after her split from the former Barcelona player. Appearing on Zane Lowe’s Apple Music 1 show, she said: “I thought love would be there for ever for me, and that’s one of my broken dreams. I don’t know if I’d like to find that again. Probably not.” She added: “I’ve always been in a couple, but then when that wasn’t there, and when I had to face the darkest moments of my life, friends were there and kept me together. I might not grow old with a partner, but I will grow old surrounded by good friends.” Follow Mirror Celebs on TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Threads.

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Josef Fritzl will ‘never’ be allowed into UK as Home Secretary slams incest monster’s dream

Josef Fritzl is a “monster” who would never be allowed into the UK to realise his dream, says the Home Secretary. James Cleverly adamantly said that any attempt by the Austrian sex offender to come to the UK would be refused. Fritzl had talked of his desire to “roam free” in the Scottish Highlands if he was released from jail. Fritzl, who is now 88 and has dementia, was caged in 2009 for holding his daughter Elisabeth captive for 24 years in the cellar of his home in Amstetten, about 80 miles west of the Austrian capital Vienna. Over the years, he repeatedly raped his own daughter and fathered seven children with her. He was sentenced to life behind bars without the possibility for parole for 15 years and is currently being held in Stein Prison. Fritzl was ruled to no longer be a threat to public safety, according to the latest psychiatric report, and he has said he wanted to emigrate to the UK when he was released. As well as the “wild Highlands” he also talked of the “lush green fields of Wales”. But Mr Cleverly quashed his hopes, writing on X: “This monster is never coming to our country. Any attempt to travel to the UK will be refused – as it would be for anyone convicted of serious sex offences like this.” UK guidelines, introduced in January, 2021, state a foreign national would “normally” be denied a visa if they have committed a criminal offence that has led to a sentence of 12 months or more in jail. On his hopes of coming to the UK Fritzl, according to The Sun, had said: “I was filled with this wonderful, uplifting feeling, this sense of inspiration for this fantastic culture. And it was then I knew that when I get released, it is not Austria I want to stay [in], rather I want to emigrate to the UK. Above all I want to roam free on the wild Highlands of Scotland.” He added: “For me the lush green fields of Wales are also very, very appealing. But the main thing is it’s to the United Kingdom I am headed.” A regional court in Austria approved Fritzl’s application to be moved to a regular prison in January, but this was later overturned. A fresh decision about the transfer is due next month after the lower court establishes more facts about the case. Fritzl kept Elisabeth as a sex slave in his house of horrors when she was between the age of 18 and 42. His sickening crimes were revealed when he took one of the children, born as a result of incest, to hospital due to a life-threatening illness. The sex fiend then brought Elisabeth and two of her children upstairs and told his wife that she had returned home after falsely claiming she had been elsewhere for decades. Both Fritzl and Elisabeth were taken into police custody in April 2008 when the gruesome extent of his crimes were revealed.

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Kate Garraway: Derek’s Story – Four heartbreaking revelations from 800k debt to sad marriage confession

The latest documentary showing Derek Draper’s final few weeks will see several heartbreaking revelations as his wife Kate Garraway and their two children cared for him in his four-year health battle. Derek’s Story is set to air on ITV tonight and it will give viewers an insight into his devastating final moments with his family while battling his illness. Kate Garraway’s husband passed away in January at the age of 56 and just weeks later she was forced to hit back at cruel trolls who tried to accuse her of not grieving “properly”. Good Morning Britain host Kate admitted she found it beyond difficult to come to terms with Derek’s death. She also said that she felt it wasn’t right to release the new documentary, however, the last thing she wanted to do was to let her supporters down and most of all, Derek, – who wanted his story to be told. Kate has previously documented Derek’s ongoing health battle in the documentaries Caring for Derek and Finding Derek and says she wanted to convey his message to never give up on loved ones. In the preview video of Kate’s latest documentary, Derek can be heard saying: “I am Derek Draper. I want people to hear my story.” The documentary also delves into Derek’s work in politics, his early relationship with Kate and his health during the Covid pandemic. Derek had a highly-publicised experience with Covid prior to the news of his passing. Viewers will also see Kate’s two children, Darcey, 18, and Billy, 15, in the documentary as they are seen caring for their sick dad. Here, we take a look at the most heartbreaking revelations from the documentary, almost three months on from Derek’s sad passing. Devastating marriage confession Kate has told of her heartache as her marriage to Derek changed dramatically as he battled the effects of Covid for nearly four years before his death. Discussing the mixture of emotions she feels for her husband of 19 years, who she cared for around the clock, Kate says in the documentary: “I have accepted that (my future as a carer), but how that translates into the relationship is a work in progress.” The TV presenter went on: “Sometimes you show love with a big bunch of flowers, sometimes it’s bringing a cup of tea at the right moment, and he can’t do any of those things for me. So he’s trying to work out how to love me – I know he loves me, but how does he show that? And I’m trying to work out if I feel loved by him. I know I am loved, so we have got a whole journey to go on there.” In the new film, it’s clear Derek and Kate would do anything to turn back the clock to before he first contracted Covid in March 2020. Covid affected most of Derek’s organs and saw him spend 18 months in hospital. Kate’s crippling £800k debt In the new documentary, Kate will explain how Derek’s round-the-clock treatment had a £16,000 monthly cost which was more than her salary from ITV and has caused her to rack up huge debts worth a staggering £800k. Kate says: “Derek’s care costs more than my salary from ITV and that is before you pay for a mortgage, before you pay any household bills, before you pay for anything for the kids, so we are at a crunch point. I am in debt. I can’t earn enough money to cover my debt because I am managing Derek’s care and I can’t even use the money I do have to support Derek’s recovery because it’s going on the basics all the time.” Documentary director Lucy Wilcox then says to Kate people will be surprised to hear that, because they will presume she is “loaded” because she is on TV. Kate adds: “Listen, I’m not going to pretend that I am poorly paid, I have an incredible job that I love, which is well-paid, but it’s not enough.” The Good Morning Britain presenter now estimates her debts to be between £500,000-£800,000. Kate then explains: “If it is like this for me, what is it like for everybody else? Time and time again the system tells us that Derek isn’t sick enough, doesn’t have enough of a health need to qualify for funded care. I’ve appealed but that still hasn’t been processed two-and-a-half, three years later. If this is what it’s like for me, what on earth is it like for everybody else? Something has to be done, or the whole service, the people working in it, everything is going to break. “Derek’s care, the basic needs, not including any therapy, which I am happy to pay on top, is nearly £4,000 a week. How can I afford that? How can anybody afford £16,000 a month? Please, God, there could be another 40 years of this.” She continued: “We are entirely reliant on extraordinary carers but the system in which they work is unbelievably complicated and underfunded, and trying to meet an impossible need. Why is it that people who get sick and it’s no longer considered the right thing for them to be in hospital… why does coming home feel like falling off a cliff?” Derek’s heart-wrenching admission Derek was writing and speaking again in the year before his death – but in the new documentary, he tells the cameras filming him that “Covid changed everything”. The opening scenes of the new documentary show Derek writing a note to his wife Kate. She says: “The amazing thing is your writing is not as clear, because you haven’t got the same dexterity, but it’s exactly the same. I love it. When I first saw you write your name I burst into tears. I thought ‘ah, he’s still there’.” Derek writes out on an A4 pad before reading aloud: “My name is Derek Draper, I want you to hear my story. I was brought up in Chorley.” He then adds poignantly: “Covid changed everything.” Kate has said that she didn’t plan on making a third documentary following her two previous award-winning films. She however said that Derek himself had wanted to make another one prior to his death In an interview with ITV, she said: “When we started making this documentary early last year, we had no idea the events that would unfold that ultimately took Derek from us. And in January 2024, after he had passed, I wondered if it was right that it should ever come to air. “But I didn’t want to let those who have given us so much support over the last four years down, and the carers paid and unpaid who in their thousands of letters to me, feel Derek’s story has given them a voice. Derek’s health took a turn for the worse after he was admitted to hospital after suffering from a heart attack in mid-December.” Derek calls himself ‘pathetic’ amid health battle The new documentary confronts head on the reality of Derek’s struggles. In one heartbreaking scene, Derek’s carer Jake is seen helping him in and out of a hyperbaric oxygen therapy to try to aid his recovery. In another scene a mobility coach is shown trying to get him back onto his own two feet. Derek begins to sob and call himself “pathetic” but ever-encouraging Kate responds and tells him: “It’s OK, it is not pathetic, you are absolutely trying. You are so close darling. It’s amazing.” Derek then tries again and is able to stand holding the frame with a small bit of help. Derek also headed to a pioneering brain cell clinic in Mexico at the end of 2023 to further aid his recovery but this trip ended in disaster. Kate’s last proper conversation with Derek was just before she flew out to bring him home and he was continuing to make a good recovery and talking about seeing old friends. However, when she landed in Mexico she was told he’d had a cardiac arrest and he underwent 14 hours of neurosurgery in Mexico, before being flown with Kate on a “terrifying” intensive care unit (ICU) plane to a London hospital. He never recovered, never opened his eyes again, and died in the hospital a few weeks later with Kate and their children Darcey and Billy at the bedside. Kate Garraway: Derek’s Story airs Tuesday, March 26 at 9pm on ITV1, ITVX and STV. Follow Mirror Celebs on TikTok , Snapchat , Instagram , Twitter , Facebook , YouTube and Threads .

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India's Tour Of Australia Test Schedule Announced, Perth To Host Opener Of 5-Match Series

Australia has released details of the schedule for their upcoming home summer, which includes the visit of India for the five-match Test series with Perth to host the opening Test. The five-match Test series against Rohit Sharma’s side will commence in Perth on November 22, with further Tests to be held in Adelaide (day-night), Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney right up until the start of the New Year. It will be the first time since the summer of 1991/92 that Australia and India have played a five-match series as part of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which will provide both teams with a good opportunity to further cement their place in next year’s ICC World Test Championship final. (function(v,d,o,ai){ai=d.createElement(“script”);ai.defer=true;ai.async=true;ai.src=v.location.protocol+o;d.head.appendChild(ai);})(window, document, “//a.vdo.ai/core/v-ndtv/vdo.ai.js”);Australia claimed bragging rights when winning the most recent World Test Championship final at The Oval last year, but India has held the coveted Border-Gavaskar trophy since 2017 on the back of consecutive series triumphs away from home.Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley is looking forward to welcoming India to Australian shores later this year and is predicting a tight contest between the evenly-matched sides.”This is one of the most highly anticipated summers of cricket in memory with the eyes of the cricket world focused on the extended Border-Gavaskar Trophy series and the multi-format Women’s Ashes,” Hockley said as quoted by ICC.”Fittingly, the Border-Gavaskar Trophy has been put on the same footing as The Ashes with a five match Test Series for the first time since 1991-92 and we’re confident the schedule will maximise viewership and attendances and there will be a tremendous atmosphere in stadiums across the country.”The visit of Pakistan will commence Australia’s home summer, with the Asian side to play three ODIs and three T20Is at the start of November, before the action hots up even further with the Test series against India.India’s women’s side will be in Australia at the same time as their male counterparts, with three ODI matches planned to take place at the start of December as part of the women’s schedule also announced by Cricket Australia on Tuesday.Australia will take on New Zealand in three ODIs in September following the Women’s T20 World Cup in Bangladesh, before three games against India in Brisbane and Perth on December 5.Australia’s attention will then turn to the multi-format Women’s Ashes series against England, which consists of three ODIs, three T20Is and a historic day-night Test match at the MCG at the end of January.Men’s Schedule:Australia vs India Test schedule: First Test: November 22-26, Perth Second Test: December 6-10, Adelaide (d/n) Third Test: December 14-18, Brisbane Fourth Test: December 26-30, Melbourne Fifth Test: January 3-7, Sydney Australia v Pakistan white-ball schedule: First ODI: November 4, Melbourne Second ODI: November 8, Adelaide Third ODI: November 10, Perth First T20I: November 14, Brisbane Second T20I: November 16, Sydney Third T20I: November 18, Hobart Women’s Schedule:Australia vs New Zealand, T20I series First T20I: September 19, Mackay Second T20I: September 22, Mackay Third T20I: September 24, Brisbane Australia vs India, ODI series First ODI: December 5, Brisbane Second ODI: December 8, Brisbane Third ODI: December 11, Perth Australia vs England ODI series First ODI: January 12, Sydney Second ODI: January 14, Melbourne Third ODI: January 17, Hobart Australia vs England T20I series First T20I: January 20, Sydney Second T20I: January 23, Canberra Third T20I: January 25, Adelaide Australia vs England TestOnly Test: January 30-February 2, Melbourne (d/n).(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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Indian police detain dozens of protesters demanding release of top opposition leader Arvind Kejriwal

“This is a dictatorship. If someone is doing good for the public of Delhi, why arrest such a person?” Rubina Parveen, a protester, told The Associated Press. “Our voices are muzzled. The public is very angry … If a good leader is sent to jail, then what will happen to the common public? she said. Authorities have since banned the assembly of four or more people in the area that houses almost all key government buildings. Kejriwal, one of the country’s most consequential politicians of the past decade and a top rival of Modi’s, was arrested on March 21. He and his Aaam Admi Party, or Common Man’s Party, are accused of accepting 1 billion rupees ($12 million) in bribes from liquor contractors nearly two years ago. The party denied the accusations, saying they are fabricated by the federal agency, controlled by Modi’s government. Kejriwal’s AAP is part of a broad alliance of opposition parties called INDIA, the main challenger to Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in the coming election. Hundreds of Kejriwal’s supporters have been holding protests since his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate, the federal agency that probes economic offenses.

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